Carbon Footprint How BIG is your Footprint?
Carbon Whaaaat?? Carbon Footprint: The measure of the total amount of harmful greenhouse-gas emissions that people produce, either directly or indirectly. Review: Greenhouse gases cause the earth to heat up by trapping the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere – acting like a greenhouse. Common Greenhouse Gases produced by humans: • carbon dioxide* • methane • nitrous oxide • chlorofluorocarbons (aerosols containing this were banned in the U.S. nearly 30 years ago) * One molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2 )has an atmospheric lifetime of 50-200 years. Since it is difficult to separate and quantify each distinct greenhouse gas, scientists commonly use CO2 to measure the global-warming problem.
Why is it called a “carbon footprint” ? The Carbon Footprint calculator measures the total amount of Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases each person produces a year. A footprint is an impression you leave behind. Similarly, the carbon your daily decisions create are also left behind and accumulate. Is carbon all bad? Actually, it’s not. Our bodies are mostly made of carbon, as is just about everything we touch and see, from trees to diamonds. All life depends on carbon. But carbon is also oil, natural gas, and coal — hence, its polluting connotation. When carbon in the atmosphere pairs with oxygen molecules that are created through the combustion of plants, dung, and fossil fuels, it becomes CO2. The current global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is nearly 40 percent higher than levels in the air before the industrial revolution!1
Tell me more about these footprints…. Visual explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5WFt4tBDCY&feature=related
Do I have a CO2 footprint? I don’t even drive yet! Turns out, even your daily actions are pretty damaging to our earth…. Lets see how your classmates compare ( two volunteers one boy, one girl). http://www.zerofootprintkids.com/kids_home.aspx The good news is, there is a lot you can do to minimize your footprint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7zwrzEyzkA&feature=related (yup, another video…)
And you thought those were a lot of Earths… Record Facts that stand out: (ex: square ft of house, types of car, pool, electricity used...etc) Any contradictions??? If you thought vans were bad- check out Lil’ Wayne’s gas guzzlers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs69Mn3imyc&feature=related Pro wrestler Batista: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vGrUVEjPH0 More cribs (if time to watch) http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/cribs/videos.jhtml
Even “Green” Celebrities have large footprints… Madonna “Live Earth Concert” (2007) • At Giants Stadium in New York, Wembley Stadium in London, Aussie Stadium in Sydney, Maropeng at the Cradle of Humankind in Johannesburg, Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, the Steps of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, and HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg. • The Live Earth event online was sponsored by Chevy. A car company which produces low mile per gallon SUV's, trucks, and other gas guzzlers. • Madonna, who was the main attraction at the London concert herself owns a collection of fuel-guzzling cars, including a Mercedes Maybach, two Range Rovers, Audi A8s and a Mini Cooper S. • Madonna flies around the world in her private jets and her Confessions tour produced 440 tonnes of CO2 in four months of last year. That was just the flights between the countries, not taking into account the truckloads of equipment needed, the power to stage such a show and the transport of all the thousands of fans getting to the gigs. • The Carbon footprint for the whole Live Earth event is estimated at 7,000 tons of CO2 emissions. This does not include the private jets of all the celebrities who will be attending or the thousands of people who will drive in their cars to each concert.2
To be continued…. Next Class topics: • Life cylces of everyday products • Energy and sports
Sources 1 Baliunas , Sallie and Willie Soon. "Increasing Carbon Dioxide and Global Climate Change." Marshall Institute 01 Jan 2000 8 Mar 2009 <http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=13>. 2 Frederick Von Leppe. Baron Victor . "Live Earth Celebrities' Carbon Footprint Huge ," The Dailey Squib 5 July 2007. 8 Mar 2009 <http://www.dailysquib.co.uk/?c=117&a=1049>